The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (JCBID) staged their second annual fashion show, Jamaica Collections, June 1 as part of their ongoing effort to showcase and promote Downtown Jamaica, Queens, as New York City’s largest urban fashion district.
The free event had over 200 attendees at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center as they enjoyed the featured designs of established Jamaica Queens natives and longtime resident designers as well as artwork from local artists. All while tasting food from local restaurants.
“After we identified that Downtown Jamaica is New York City’s largest urban fashion shopping district, we decided to do a fashion show that will underscore that,” said Laurel Brown, who joined JCBID as Executive Director in 2011 and spearheaded the organization’s first ever fashion show.
Among the fashion designers showcased was Onyx Nior, owner of Onyz Nior Designs, a fashion company based in New York City. The South Jamaica native said he has been designing since age 11 and his work been been featured on BET, MTV’s House of Style, VH-1’s Fashion Files and in various magazines. He has also designed pieces for celebrities such as Mary J Blige and Terri & Monica.
“Fashion design is not just a hobby. Its my life. My salvation,” said Nior in an interview prior to the show. “I was happy when I was asked if I could be a part of the show. I have the opportunity to be a representation to a group of people because I remember where I am coming from and my contribution to the show can encourage someone else,” he added.
Following the modeling of over 10 of his designs, Nior expressed hiS appreciation for the audience.
The other designers featured were:
- Annesa Hamin, a Visual Specialists for Banana Republic and the founder and owner of Annesa Hamin Collection
- Delali Haligah, owner of Osun Designs, whose work been featured on NY1, New York Daily News, The New York Times and London based Pride Magazine.
Brown said her organization has been doing other projects so people can see the different opportunities that are available in Downtown Jamaica and is also working closely with small business and retail stores within her district. This includes, Jamaica Revealed, a program that is used to tell investors about the different opportunities that are available, and a Flash Visual Merchandise Program, where the non-profit pays visual merchandising designers to improve the window displays of retail stores to make it more attractive for customers.
“Our overall goal is to make Jamaica shopping district a vibrant place to shop, work, live and visit,” said Brown.